Resurgent interest in urban living is helping to revive neighborhoods in numerous American cities, stabilizing populations and sometimes beginning to reverse previous declines. One consequence of the influx of residents is new public and private investment in amenities such as parks, bike paths and grocery and other stores. However, new demand and investment can also drive up housing costs. That's particularly true in areas that have traditionally been affordable to low- and moderate-income individuals and families, notes a report by ChangeLab Solutions. With support from Kresge's Health Program, the nonprofit ChangeLab Solutions developed a guide to help practitioners and community advocates preserve and expand the number of affordable rental housing options in high-demand neighborhoods. The guide is aimed at practitioners who work at the intersection of housing and health, an area of increasing emphasis for Kresge's Health Program.
The ChangeLab team has produced a policy toolkit with information on housing market trends and research on the links between rising housing costs and poor health outcomes. The toolkit identifies strategies to help ensure that households of all incomes have housing options in the areas where they want to live. It covers six policy areas: preservation, protection, inclusion, revenue generation, incentives and property acquisition.